President's Message

 by Stuart Franco - President of AMCHAM T&T


I am truly honoured and deeply humbled to be appointed the 17th President of The American Chamber of Commerce of Trinidad and Tobago (AMCHAM T&T). This organisation is very dear to me and The TSL Group, largely due to the strong legacy left by past President Nick Galt, TSL’s Founder and Chairman. I hope to build on Nick’s legacy and pledge to dedicate myself wholeheartedly to the betterment of our business community. I am committed to leading this Chamber with the same level of integrity, transparency, and relentless drive for progress that has been embedded in me during my twenty years at Trinidad Systems Limited.

There is a conversation I hope to have with all our readers of Linkage and members of AMCHAM T&T over the next year. It is centred on how we can generate more business, but more importantly, how we can positively impact the lives of our employees and every citizen in our country.

We must ensure that while we are seeking to invest in the latest business trends, we are also securing the future of our people who provide the competitive edge of our respective businesses. They are the unsung heroes in all our stories. So, how can we continue investing in our businesses while we simultaneously invest in our people?

This is why I love the theme “CATAPULT” for this issue of Linkage. It reminds us that we cannot surrender to our problems and become complacent; rather, we need to catapult our goals and objectives to create the better, brighter future we all deserve.

A lot of this can be achieved through investments in technology. I don’t need to convince anyone that our world today is largely underpinned by technological advancements that are transforming the way we work and live. The real question is, how are we going to take advantage of these rapid changes?

We at AMCHAM T&T believe the development of the tech sector must happen now. We cannot be afraid or unwilling to accept all the great changes brought on by digital transformation. Our country’s economic future, business growth, and survival are dependent on creating an ecosystem that will untap the hidden talent of our people while unleashing greater opportunities to drive growth and achieve success.

In the short term, I want to see us establishing policies that strengthen ICT skills development and education so that we can create the talent pool with the required tech-related skills to sustain the digital economy we are building. Here is where AMCHAM T&T is firmly committed to doing its part to solve this problem. We hope to roll out some skills-development programmes in the future to fill this gap and advance digital literacy to empower our future designers, coders, and data analysts.

Additionally, we cannot stop working on the legislative environment to support innovation and keep up with emerging technologies. I want to ensure that our advocacy in technology results in adopting and implementing the many digital strategies, policies, and frameworks that will strengthen and advance our digital transformation initiatives.

This will ultimately serve our people and propel economic growth. If companies want to stay competitive, remain attractive, and retain talent, they will have to develop sustainable business practices that positively impact social change while they embrace digital transformation.

That’s why we must also catapult with ESG investments. Not only is this important, but it also makes good business sense, and it is the right thing to do. These days our customers, investors, and employees not only want to know that the business is doing well, but they insist that the business is a force for good. So, companies now have a responsibility to invest more in what they stand for. This goes beyond profit margins but instead focuses on whether the business is being conducted to create VALUE for people and the planet.

So in the future, we must direct our attention to supporting the energy transition to develop the renewable energy sector, introducing low-carbon products, launching waste-reduction campaigns to support the green initiative, and embracing DEI policies as part of our governance and social responsibility.

I really hope the next year sees us catapulting and embracing many more of these initiatives to build a future that places value into our people and our environment while we allow technology to lead us to greater heights.

I hope you enjoy this issue of Linkage and look forward to embarking on this journey together, united in purpose and dedicated to the success of AMCHAM T&T and the businesses it represents.

May God continue to bless us all!